Make Love Not Book
Punkinhead roughrider for Chitown’s Yiddishkeit Mob
on the illiterate immigrants’ turnip truck circuit
wrangled a killing but no living wage playing
havoc with landsmen’s thin paychecks.
Me I was raised on the Southside where till age ten
I sold papers and numbers at a newsstand corner of
71st and Jeffrey where Teddy paid moi in Marilyn
Monroe nudie calendars that my Mom threw out.
Barely survived Depression/ WWII/ Holocaust
after which Pops moved us to the Golden State
and there his core values evolved toward shady real estate
while the mogul’s scion morphed into a granny glasses hippy.
During college I returned to the old Chiraq hood --
Avis wouldn’t rent me no car-- for sorta peace rally
at the old corner where Steinways’gone, Walgreens’
still there but most of the drugs were sold by gangs.
Battle of the Flavors
Back in the course of my parents’ Never-ending War,
during the Chicago phase which we siblings
now remember best for beginning during a Cubs’ game
at Wrigley Field,
I became Daddy’s surrogate by favoring Spearmint
while Sis sided with Mom’s Juicy Fruit though both cost
only 5 cents when Ike was President before their divorce.
detentional as his son while Pops in a drinkers’
bar -- no socializing, my Granny’s dealio is,
If ya eat my food, Boy, we gotta talk…
cutting a fool's way, many decades wandering,
avoidant dishwasher years were the best but
brass balls pimping women ‘n drugs was hard.
sure I fell in love too often, much too easily.
great and terrible, you were the only man
who everevereverever touched me…
whiteass banana noise armed to the teeth,
broke, bored, foot in da graveyard, the otha
one ona reefer peel,stead of yellin funky, laid
back vibe of crack reality’s releasin lotta black
savagery,chords not so happy anymore strikin
up pimp walls, flashin hip-hopper Raiders' hats
lookin fo The Man's spot-on product, thinkin
every nigga's selling narc on Compton cops'
warpath -- theysa gang but mo organized,
RKing uprising on the hunt blazes doors
blown off suburban albino Valley Girls
droppin crème brûléecurls down on
musky weed ‘n dirt…back east Bronx
hoodrats start doin’ Peppermint Lounge
whereas Studio 54’s left to you Manhattan
aristocrats, but perfect marriage we both
be snortin’coke ‘n screwin’ pussy, silk
and satin backwashing thru cracked veins,
powder monkeys zulu a few zooks of porn
weed plus tobacco until Simple Simon
comes on -- it’s all over now, baby blues…
down south sober living, mosquitoes killing
more of our people than ODs, we dirt poor
coffee farmers joined Los Narcotraficantes
for the joy of children’s clothes, shoes, food
— please find a way in your hearts to love us
if not their coca…after a few years Chicago hole
in the wall clubs this here autistic shit it must stop,
OutKast gotta get straight in the studio, run verses,
remix tracks with our instruments zilch samplers.
About the poet: Gerard Sarnat’s recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s authored four collections: Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016), which included work published in Gargoyle, Lowestoft, American Journal of Poetry, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Tishman Review plus was featured in New Verse News, Songs of Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords, Floor Plan. Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project, Anti-Heroin Chic, Winamop, Poetry Circle and Tipton Poetry Journal new feature sets of new poems. “Amber Of Memory” was the single poem chosen for my 50th college reunion symposium on Bob Dylan; the Harvard Advocate accepted a second. Mount Analogue selected Sarnat’s sequence, Kaddish for the Country, for distribution as a pamphlet in Seattle on Inauguration Day 2017, as well as the next morning as part of the Washington, D.C., and nationwide Women’s Marches. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, interviews; visit GerardSarnat.com. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry has worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children, four grandkids.
“My family drives through Indiana's vast dunes on vacation. I still go back to Granger (near South Bend) to visit a first cousin who lived a block away from me for our first 10 years.”